Is It Safe to Give Babies Water?

Is It Safe to Give Babies Water?

Water for babies

A lot of time I get questions from new parents about what is safe to give babies when it comes to food and drinks. For example, a parent recently emailed to ask me:
“Do I need to give my baby water to drink when it’s hot outside?”

Answer:

Babies and young children need to drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated in the summer heat. Did you know water makes up over two-thirds of our body? Dehydration occurs when our body loses more flood than we take in. It’s import to have fluids for you and your baby in this hot weather!

Infants under 6 months shouldn’t drink water. Babies over 6 months can take in modest amounts.

The loss of liquids can be replaced by giving a baby more breast milk or formula. Older infants and toddlers can be given very diluted fruit juice using 100% juice or fresh fruit/vegetable juice.

Another source for giving hydrating an older baby or toddler is offering fruits and vegetables with water content that is 85% water or more. Some great fruits to try are strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit and cantaloupe. Vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, red and green tomatoes, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and broccoli are also high in water content. For more idea take a look at this handout for reference.

When planning daytime activities, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says to limit sun exposure as much as possible between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest. This is especially true for infants, who are less able to sweat (our body’s natural way of keeping our internal temperature down). Be extra careful about bringing baby outside in temperatures above 100 F, which can be potentially hazardous to little bodies.

Before heading outside this summer, know the signs of dehydration:

  • Sunken soft spot (fontanelle) on the head
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Fewer and/or less than six wet diapers in a day
  • Lower energy levels and less playful activity

Since that’s a large portion of the day is hot outside, look for shade if you’re out and about to stay cool and protected from the summer heat. On very hot days, avoid overdressing your baby and keep an extra layer of clothing or light blanket in the diaper bag. Also, protect your baby’s face and neck with a brimmed hat whenever possible.

If you think your baby is dehydrated, call your pediatrician to be on the safe side.  Your pediatrician will do a thorough examination and let you know if you should offer an oral rehydration (like Pedialyte) to replenish lost vitamins.

*Sources: What To Expect.com and Creative Commons

Beat The Heat: Stay Hydrated This Summer With Fruits and Veggies

WATERSuperFruits

Temperatures are still rising as we speed through the rest of summer. As it gets warmer our bodies tend to sweat more, urinate waste more and loose water. That means it’s so important to keep you and your little ones hydrated and healthy in the sun. Replacing lost water is a great way to stay cool too!

Did you know adults can loose up to 1.5L of water from your body on a normal day? While this number isn’t as high for children, it’s still a good idea to replenish liquids throughout the day for kids. Drinking lots of water is the easiest way to increase water in the body. However, some kids don’t like water- and that’s ok! Look for other beverages that are high in water like 100% fruit juice mixed with water or increase the amount of breastmilk and milk given to older babies.

Another easy way to increase water is by eating fruits and vegetables that are high in water content.  The next time you make a trip to the grocery store consider adding a few of these produce items to your list:

  • Cucumber- 96% water
  • Celery- 95% water
  • Tomatoes- 94% water
  • Green Peppers- 93% water
  • Watermelon- 92% water
  • Strawberries- 92% water
  • Grapefruit- 90% water

Give something new a try! Don’t forget I’m always available to Shop the Market with you to find the best fresh foods for your family at any of the local Austin Farmers Market. Check the calendar and schedule a tour with me today!

Easy Baked Apples for Baby Recipe

baby apple recipe
There are many types of exciting first food items to try when starting your baby on solid foods. Everything from bananas, to avocados and even oatmeal. In addition to breastmilk or formula, most experts and professionals will advise sticking with solo vegetables and fruits for those tiny budding baby taste buds. I agree!
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing 26 ways to prepare first foods for baby in a video series called A-Z First Food. One for each letter, starting with… Apples!
To get started, watch the first video step-by-step tutorial here.

Apples for Babies

Did you know there are more than 7000 varieties of apples in the world? Even if you tried a different apple everyday it would take you nearly 20 years to sample the entire spectrum. The most common varieties can be found in the United States  and include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala and McIntosh Apples are all easy to prepare, easy to digest and are full of nutrients.

Apples are also very versatile and may be added to almost any baby recipe you find. You can mix apples with cereals, veggie and fruit purees, with meat purees, used in yogurt and more!

Apples are also a good source of potassium. Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. (This mineral is not affected by cooking.)

  • Apples contain high levels of various plant chemicals, including the flavonoid quercetin, which has anticancer and anti-inflammatory action.
  • Apples contain two types of fiber; soluble and insoluble fiber. Both the insoluble fiber in apples and their soluble fiber pectin, help maintain bowel regularity. The fiber can help to alleviate constipation

Easy Baked Apples for Baby Recipe

Step 1 – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2  – Place three cored apples in a baking pan and add 3 inches of warm water. Do not peel the apples, the peel keeps them firm.

Step 3 – Bake the apples for 30 minutes or until they are tender when squeezed with a pair of tongs. Remove the apples from the oven.

Step 4 – Let the apples cool for five minutes and then peel away the skin with your fingers. 

Step 5 – Cut the apples up into small pieces. Puree them to the age appropriate consistency and texture for your baby.

Note:

  • The recipe yields about 2 cups of baked apples.
  • If your baby is over 8 months, you can sprinkle the apples with cinnamon or add about 1/2 teaspoon of butter on the inside of the apple.
  • To core an apple, use a apple corer or a paring knife to remove the inedible inner portion.
  • Serve immediately. Leftover baked apples can be refrigerated for up to two days.

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net